Exploring England

Well–I have been in London for about 3 weeks now and I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. I was warned that my experience abroad would fly by and these warnings are very accurate! Each of my days here is very exciting–whether I am exploring England, learning how to do new tasks at my internship, or on a site visit.

I am starting to become more comfortable at my internship as I have now established a routine of tasks I need to carry out for the day. However, my days do not become repetitive because I learn how to do something new each time I am there. My office  is short several employees, as 3 left the property last week, so it is very nice to be used as a valuable resource. I like the office culture, but stress has been high because of the shortage of employees and the fact that it is the end of the month in the finance department. Another thing that I have observed about the culture is that the employees are very comfortable with one another, often swearing at each other jokingly and sometimes say things I wouldn’t think were appropriate in the office. Although I do not have office experience in America, I did not think that professional offices were like this. This is something I’ll have to look out for when I’m back in the U.S. in a professional environment.

Besides my internship, I have highly enjoyed seeing other parts of England that apart from London. On Saturday, we had our day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. For one thing, I could not believe how beautiful the drive out to Stonehenge was. The English countryside boasted stunning rolling hills that appeared to go on for miles. Stonehenge was really interesting because I finally got to see what is basically the default setting on many PC desktops. It was very interesting to see the giant boulders that are so mysteriously famous. After our short visit to Stonehenge, we headed about an hour northwest to Bath, which I absolutely loved! It was so charming, old and beautiful. Most of the buildings in the whole city are the same color because they are made from bath stone. The Georgian architecture all around was also breathtaking, as it is not a type of style I have ever seen before. I really enjoyed seeing the actual Roman baths and learning about the deep history behind them. In addition to the tour of the baths, I went on a walking tour and saw other beautiful sights–from a Georgian garden to the Royal Crescent. The whole experience was unforgettable and I was definitely not ready to leave at the end of the day!

On Sunday, I took a trip to Wimbledon which was incredible–since I am such an avid tennis player and fan myself. The Wimbledon area was so peaceful to walk through as it is very suburban and quiet. It was nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of London and visit Wimbledon Park and the All-England Tennis Club. I really lucked out because I toured the site one day before many the “behind-the-scenes” parts closed in preparation for the upcoming tournament. While on the tour, I got to see the press room, media room, stand in the Centre Court stadium, and more. I loved every minute of this visit and it was something I had been wanting to do for years. It was definitely worth it!

I am absolutely loving London and everything it has to offer. I had a great weekend exploring other parts of England and look forward to seeing more-including Canterbury, the Cotswolds, and Cambridge.

Finally, it is difficult not to address the tragic attacks on London Bridge on Saturday. As it was a very frightening and surreal night, I believe it is important to pay tribute to the victims and police who exhibited true heroism that horrible night and every single day. I am grateful for the measures that are being carried out to protect the citizens of London. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. It is so important to stick together and be #LondonStrong.